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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

‘Totally misconstrued’ – Michael Block addresses his Rory McIlroy comments

Michael Block playing a round of golf

May 20, 2023; Rochester, New York, USA; Michael Block acknowledges the fans after making a putt on the ninth green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Block this week addressed his past comments involving Rory McIlroy that was off-putting for some.

Block gained fame in May when he was in contention to win the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in New York before ultimately finishing tied for 15th. Block was a popular figure during that time and conducted numerous interviews, including one with Bob Menery.

During his interview with Menery, Block was asked what separates him from a top player like McIlroy.

“He’s a lot longer than I am, that’s what it is,” Block said. “Oh my god, what I would shoot from where Rory hits it would be stupid. I think I’d be one of the best players in the world, hands down. If I had that stupid length, all day. My iron game, wedge game around the greens, and putting is world class.”

Prior to that interview, Block had come across to many as a humble, regular guy. After all, he is a club pro from Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif. So that comment rubbed many the wrong way and came across as somewhat arrogant.

But Block spoke with Golf Weekly’s Ben Fleming from Dundonald Links this week ahead of Open Final Qualifying. In the article, which was published on Tuesday, Block addressed his comments.

“It was totally misconstrued, misconceived, the whole thing. I really feel like if you’re a real golfer, you kind of understood what I had meant,” Block told Fleming.

Block felt his remarks were taken out of context and blamed himself for the error. He also tried to clarify himself and address whether he can compete with McIlroy.

“That was an incomprehensible thing where yeah, if I gained 60 yards, if I had a gap wedge into every green rather than a four iron into every green, would I be better? I’d be a whole hell of a lot better,” Block said.

“Would I be better than Roy McIlroy? Absolutely not. Rory is an absolute stud and at no point, in any shape or form, was I ever trying to say anything about Rory or the tour professionals.

“I was just one hundred per cent saying, if I had an extra 60 yards off of every tee, every day of my life, would I be on tour? Probably. Guaranteed? Absolutely not.”

Block showed humility in his recent comments that he did not seem to show in his interview with Menery. And that may be the difference between his remarks this week and his past comments.

In the interview with Menery, Block came off as having the “if I had never hurt my knee in high school, I would have been an All-Pro” vibe. At least he was more realistic and less definitive this time around.

The 47-year-old club pro is trying to qualify to play in his first career Open Championship. He’s competed in two U.S. Opens and five PGA Championships. This year at Oak Hill was the first time he had made the cut at a major.

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